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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
18 May 2016

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This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible.

Key developments this week

  • Winter weather conditions brought rough seas and strong winds to the search area which impacted on operations this week.
  • Fugro Discovery arrived in Fremantle on 16 May for resupply. The vessel departed for the search area on 17 May.
  • Fugro Equator arrived back in the search area on 14 May but was unable to undertake search activities due to the weather. Consequently, the vessel has been tasked with bathymetric survey operations which can generally still be carried out in poor weather conditions.
  • Dong Hai Jiu 101 arrived back in the search area on 16 May. The vessel is on weather standby as current conditions preclude deep-tow search operations.

Underwater search operations

More than 105,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far. In the event the aircraft is found and accessible, Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China have agreed to plans for recovery activities, including securing all the evidence necessary for the accident investigation.

Consistent with the undertaking given by the Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China in April last year, 120,000 square kilometres will be thoroughly searched. It is anticipated this will be completed around the middle of the year. In the absence of credible new information that leads to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, Governments have agreed that there will be no further expansion of the search area.

[Click map to view larger image]


Poor weather conditions are forecast for the coming week. Search operations will continue to be disrupted, however bathymetric survey operations will be undertaken as weather permits.